To set saplings in the ground, a short (2′) stake, pointed at one end, is pounded in about 14 inches. Then it’s pulled out, and the sapling is seated in the hole. The stake is angled away from the house so that the sapling will bow outwards initially, before bending towards the center. This gives a little more room inside.
The house is started with two parallel arches facing north-south, crossed at 90 degrees by two arches facing east-west. Each arch is 9′ high in the center, and the ends are on opposite sides of a 18′ diamater circle on the ground. The distance between parallel arches is about 3 feet, so where the two parallels cross there is a 3′ square at the top. This square will be the smoke hole.
After these arches are up, the four quadrants between them are filled in, with three saplings in each quadrant. In each quadrant, a short sapling is tied across the quadrant at the top, and the ends of the three saplings are tied to this piece.
First arch, going east-west. This picture is facing east.
4PM, two arches. The stake in the ground marks the center of the circle.
6PM, the first north-south arch is up. The field was mowed for the horses since the previous picture was taken.
The cat came down for a visit. Is that a horse? The cat jumped down and ran over to take a look, then when the horse looked at her, she thought better of it and ran over to the woods.
The four arches are up, and the 3 vertical saplings in the NW quarter are in. This picture is facing east. Note the ladder, needed to reach the top. It rained the night the ladder was made, which caused the lashings to swell and tighten up nicely!
Vertical saplings all in on the west side.
A view looking up of the crossed parallel arches, and the four quadrants filled in with three saplings each. The square in the center of the picture is the smoke hole.
View from a distance.